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Night Lighting for Mountain Biking

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Night Lighting for Mountain Biking

Old 11-07-18, 02:37 PM
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JMM93
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Night Lighting for Mountain Biking

Hey Buds,

The days are getting shorter. I have never done night trail riding and I was curious what your setups are? I am specifically curious what you use for lighting. I assume you all use a handlebar light and helmet light? How much should I be looking to spend? Any suggestions or tips for a newbie night rider? Thanks!
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Old 11-07-18, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JMM93 View Post
I am specifically curious what you use for lighting. I assume you all use a handlebar light and helmet light? !
Gemini Titan and Olympia.


I'f you're just interested in dabbling to determine interest, you can get some relative inexpensive Chinese lights on ebay or Amazon that will be fine for occasional use.
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Old 11-07-18, 11:45 PM
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I'd go with the cheapo chinese lights for $20 a pop and try them out this winter. If you find you really like night riding then look into getting something better. If you run two and you should even with good lights you don't have much to worry about. I'd head over to the mtbr.com forums and read around in their lighting section. They have a lot of really good info.

I still have two of the cheapo single LED chinese lights that I bought years ago and keep as spares/backups but I bought a nitefighter bt40s and bt21 around 2 years ago. They were the best bang for the buck lights you could get at the time and still would be but they stopped making the bt21 for some reason. The bt40s is still around and is also sold as a Revtronic bt40s now on amazon, nightfighter lights had a problem with them using the nitefighter name. If I were buying good lights I'd still buy the bt40s and whatever the current bang for the buck neutral white LED light with good throw is for a helmet light. The bt40s has good spread which makes a great bar light but it is nice to have a tighter beam for the helmet.
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Old 11-08-18, 02:18 PM
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Thanks my friends. This is really helpful. After some searching around, I think I am going to buy some cheapos to start and see if I am really into it or not. The quality lights are pretty pricey. Thank you so much for the tips. Very appreciated.
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Old 11-08-18, 05:30 PM
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Check this out:
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Old 11-11-18, 07:38 PM
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Whatever you do, def get a bar light and a helmet light. I have NiteRider myself.
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Old 11-12-18, 06:55 PM
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I dunno ... I’m a big proponent of the “buy once, cry once” theory. Cheap eBay lights can have terrible optics, annoying shadow zones, and rattly, movement-prone mounting hardware. They’ll probably be just good enough that you’ll really like night riding, but the first thing you’re gonna want to do is spend more money. So get a nice Night Rider or Lezyne set-up from the start. Even in the unlikely event that you decide that midnight trails aren’t your thing, the absolute worst downside is that you’ll end up having a great lighting system the next time you get caught out late on a ride or a commute!
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Old 11-12-18, 07:05 PM
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I've had a Light & Motion 650 for 2 or 3 years (can't remember) and it's been solid. I'm probably going to buy another.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
Whatever you do, def get a bar light and a helmet light. I have NiteRider myself.
Yes. Not only does it work better for seeing the trail (because your handelbars aren't always pointed where you are looking) but then you also have a back up light in case one breaks or the battery goes dead.

I'm not a fan of lights that have battery packs and wires so I opt to use the self contained ones.

I use this on my helmet....

https://www.amazon.com/CAT-EYE-Rechargeable-Headlight-Helmet/dp/B00ED2P3U8/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1542212390&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=cateye+volt&psc=1&smid=A1JCLQZW8GDOJ4

And this on my bars...

https://www.amazon.com/ITUO-Flashlight-Rechargeable-Programmable-Wiz20-Updated/dp/B07C1W8ZZP/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1542212406&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=ituo+wiz20&psc=1
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Old 11-16-18, 01:39 PM
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Light & Motion Urban 800 on the bars, with a L & M Urban 500 on my helmet. They are perfect for 2-3 hours of riding.
And yes, you need both bar and helmet lights.
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Old 11-20-18, 12:10 AM
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you trade off brighter (watts) for shorter run times..
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Old 11-20-18, 09:01 AM
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The Ituo light I linked above...Med @ 800 lumens = 4:30 hrs

The Cateye Volt 300 Light I linked above...High @ 300 lumens = 3 hours.

Really don't see myself doing 3 hour rides at night so it's a non-issue.
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Old 11-20-18, 09:15 AM
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Few other nice ones...

PR1200 - Front Light - RAVEMEN

https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...ix-bike-light/
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Old 11-20-18, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
you trade off brighter (watts) for shorter run times..
If run time is an issue you can just use a larger battery - if you're not stuck with an integrated light/battery.

2 hours, 40 minutes on high (4000 lumens) is plenty for me. Especially because I always run a mixture of low/medium/high or simply turn my bar light off on really long climbs.
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Old 11-22-18, 12:41 PM
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My Nite Rider had 2 water bottle batteries, (bought a spare)
but you have to stop and swap them plug/unplug ..
12v 11 1.2v cells in series .. 2 halogen lamps 20w each if you want.

really lit the woods up..
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Old 11-24-18, 12:47 AM
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I run the Light and Motion TAZ 2000 on my bars and a NiteRider Micro 850 on my helmet. It's a great setup for our local trails.
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Old 11-24-18, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
Whatever you do, def get a bar light and a helmet light. I have NiteRider myself.
+1 for the Niterider. They're one of the pro lights (which means their construction is top quality) from a manufacturer that focuses on lights. The negative is that they're expensive, but you get what you pay for. L&M is also a top rated manufacturer.
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Old 11-27-18, 02:46 PM
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I bought a medium end helmet light (bontrager with 1400 lumens) and a cheapo bar one. Works well
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Old 11-27-18, 03:39 PM
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If you are just dabbling your feet in night riding, the cheap china lights based on the older Cree XML T6 emitters put out decently dependable light that lights up the trail ahead enough for fast MTBing in the dark. Provided you run a bar light plus a helmet light (always advisable anyway). Stick with the single-emitter lights with the larger reflector; the two- and three-beam lights look cool and supposedly double your lumens but most of the multi-emitter lights have smaller reflectors and don't throw as much light as a single, in my experience.

The newer self-contained lights from Nite Rider and Cygolite are exciting to see on the market because: 1) they're powerful; 2) they're most often under $100; 3) they don't require the separate battery pack and are USB chargeable; and 4) their run-times are silly-good for a compact. Look at the Nite Rider Lumina series, especially the 1100 Boost and the CygoLite Metro 1100. The Cygolite is as bright as the NR Lumina in my experience and is more economical. But both are winners.

Right now am running the Cygolite 1100 as my main bar light, with a China light as helmet-mount fill for cornering. When I can, that will get upgraded to a NR or Cygo as well.
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